A U.S. service member was killed in action in Afghanistan on Saturday, the NATO-led Resolute Support mission reported. The brief announcement did not provide a name or other details, in accordance with Pentagon policy of waiting until the next of kin is notified.
The death brought the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan to 2,430 since the Afghan war began in 2001. Ten U.S. service members have been reported killed in action in the country this year. This was the first reported U.S. combat death since two Special Forces soldiers, Master Sgt. Michael B. Riley and Sgt. James G. Johnston, were killed by small-arms fire during a firefight with Taliban insurgents in the southern province of Uruzgan on June 26.
There has been an upsurge in fighting this year, prompted in part by attempts by both sides to gain leverage at peace talks in Doha, Qatar, between the United States and the Taliban. The seventh round of talks was suspended Tuesday to give negotiators an opportunity to consult with their leaders, with reports of progress on reaching a preliminary deal. About 14,000 U.S. troops are still in Afghanistan, with about half providing training and support for Afghan security forces and half engaged in counterterrorism operations.
New York Times